SWIMMING WORLD CROWNS AQUABOMBERS NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
The St. Xavier Swimming & Diving team was christened National Champions by Swimming World magazine for the 2016-17 season. The top swimming publication for half a century, annually ranks the fastest performances in high school swimming using a top 16 scoring system for the eleven scholastic events.
St. X finished with 140 points to narrowly out distance Indiana champs, Carmel H.S. who garnered 131.5. Earlier in the summer, the AquaBombers earned the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) DUAL MEET POWER POINT National title. It is the program’s fourth Swimming World victory (2017, 2001, 1992, 1973) and ninth NISCA triumph (2017, 2016, 2015, 2008, 2007, 2003, 2002, 2001, 1999).
While the margin of victory on the scoreboard was 8 ½ points, the difference on the stop watch was a scant .25 of a second. The team’s line-up was designed to maximize the relay power of the squad and the athletes delivered with 100 relay points. All three relays established new Ohio and school records as well as top 5 national finishes.
200 MEDLEY RELAY Justin Grender (’18), Charles Leibson (’17), Luke Sobolewski (’17), Nicholas Perera (’18) 1:20.66 – 5th in U.S.
200 FREE RELAY Perera, Leibson, Grender, Grant House (’17) 1:21.44 - 3rd in U.S.
400 FREE RELAY House, Perera, Sobolewski, Grender 2:58.13 – 1st in U.S.
In addition, Grant House, Ohio’s most decorated swimmer of all time, picked up 31 points with his swims in the 200 Free (1:35.59 – 4th in U.S.) and 500 Free (4:19.15 – 3rd in U.S.) Rounding out the National scoring was Luke Sobolewski’s 9th place finish in 100 Back (48.23), good for 9 points.
Facing some of the best competition in the country on a regular basis, the AquaBombers were able to run the table with an undefeated season in dual, invitational, league and state events, punctuated with a record setting 38th OHSAA Div. I State Championship.
“To see our student athletes and coaches on the cover of Swimming World is a humbling and gratifying sight. It was a very special season in so many ways. Our divers, swimmers, coaches, support staff, families, alums, administration, friends and fans, as well as our remarkable competition are to be congratulated,” summarized head coach Tim Beerman.
ST. XAVIER AQUABOMBERS FINISH ON TOP OF NISCA NATIONAL RANKINGS
With a record performance at the Ohio State Championships, the St. Xavier Swimming & Diving team waited to see how their performance would stack up against the nation’s finest. St. X, tallied 438 points to establish a new Ohio record for all classifications – both men and women. It was worth the wait as the team racked up a NISCA (National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association) men’s record of 6525 points to post the most of any team in the US – men or women. It makes a NISCA 3-peat for the program and the 9th NISCA title in history (1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2015, 2016, 2017).
St. X was followed by Southlake Carroll (TX) 6327 and North Allegheny (PA) 6081. Over 200 teams from around the country were part of the NISCA rankings.
All American NISCA standards were achieved by seven swimmers covering every event. Grant House wraps up his career as a 23 time All American.
JUSTIN GRENDER (JR) 200 MEDLEY RELAY, 200 FREE, 50 FREE, 100 FREE, 200 FREE RELAY, 100 BACK, 400 FREE RELAY
GRANT HOUSE (SR) 200 FREE, 200 IM, 100 FLY, 100 FREE, 500 FREE, 200 FREE RELAY, 100 BREAST, 400 FREE RELAY
CHRISTIAN IMBUS (SR) 500 FREE
CHARLES LEIBSON (SR) 200 MEDLEY RELAY, 200 IM, 200 FREE RELAY
NICHOLAS PERERA (JR) 200 MEDLEY RELAY, 200 IM, 500 FREE, 200 FREE RELAY, 400 FREE RELAY
LUKE SOBOLEWSKI (SR) 200 MEDLEY RELAY, 100 FLY, 100 BACK, 400 FREE RELAY
GORDON WHEELER (SR) 200 FREE
In addition, eleven AquaBombers earned Academic All-American recognition from NISCA:
SEAN BRANDABUR CHARLES LEIBSON
DILLON FROASS WILL SCHWIETERMAN
DREW GRISEMER LUKE SOBOLEWSKI
GRANT HOUSE LUKE VAN GORP
CHRISTIAN IMBUS JARED WATSON
Commenting on this season, head Coach Tim Beerman said, “We are very fortunate to have a group of individuals who have built up this program throughout the years. These guys are now a part of that. They leave with the relationships that they have been a part of the last four years. It has been quite a journey”.
The final piece of the National Championship picture will be clarified in September, when Swimming World Magazine unveils their US rankings. St. X figures to be in the mix, hoping to better their 4th place finish of a year ago.
Senior Grant House won the Penn Station Athlete of the Year Award yesterday as announced by Fox19 on Monday night. Penn Station received nominations from across the tri-state area each month and announced a monthly winner during the school year. Other sponsors of the campaign include Kiss107, ESPN1530, Fox19 and 700WLW. House was named the Athlete of Month in December and therefore was a finalist for Athlete of the Year.
Fox19's Joe Danneman made the announcement that House won the award out of a field of 7 other student athletes from around the tri-state area. House competed as a swimmer at St. Xavier HS and was a part of the record breaking 2016-2017 Division I State Championship team. He also became the most decorated swimmer in OHSAA history by winning 13 Individual State Championships over four years. He set 4 state records at the state meet on February 25, 2017 in the events of 200 yard freestyle, 500 yard freestyle, 200 yard freestyle relay and 400 yard freestyle relay.
Grant will attend Arizona State University next year and will swim for the Sun Devils. He plans to major in Exercise and Wellness and Entrepreneurship.
District Championship Leads to Canton in “Record” Numbers
“Records are meant to be broken, tradition is meant to be kept,” said assistant and hall of fame coach Jim Brower. For the St. Xavier Swimming & Diving team that is precisely what occurred Saturday at the Ohio Southwest District meet held at Miami University. The AquaBombers amassed a record 603.5 points. Moeller was second with 208.5 and Mason third with 175. Points added up quickly as the team won 9 of the 11 events, while posting meet records in six of them.
St. X qualified 35 swims to District (most possible) and scored in all 35. 31 of that number were top eight. As importantly, 31 swims and diver Josh Knapke’s performance qualified for state in Canton late this week. It was the 49th consecutive District crown for the Blue and White, long considered one of the fastest districts in the US. This year 40% of all swims headed to Canton will come from the SW District.
Bill Keating, Jr. addressed the team prior to the meet and set the tone by encouraging each athlete to keep the wave of tradition going. The response was remarkable.
Event winners started early and finished strong.
200 Medley Relay 1:31.12* (Meet Record) [Justin Grender (JR), Charles Leibson (SR), Luke Sobolewski (SR), Nick Perera (JR)]
200 Free 1:35.79* (Meet & Pool Record) Grant House (SR)
200 IM 1:50.50# Charles Leibson (SR)
100 Fly 48.67* Luke Sobolewski (SR)
100 Free 45.16# Justin Grender (JR)
500 Free 4:21.19* (Meet & Pool Record) Grant House (SR)
200 Free Relay 1:22.80* (Meet Record) [Grender, Perera, Leibson, House]
100 Back 48.51* (Meet Record) Luke Sobolewski (SR)
400 Free Relay 3:01.68* (Meet Record) [Perera, Sobolewski, House, Grender]
*Automatic All American #Consideration All American
Additional All American Consideration swims were turned in by:
Gordon Wheeler (SR) 1:39.03 – 200 Free
Justin Grender (JR) 20.71 – 50 Free
Charles Leibson (SR) 45.84 – 100 Free
Christian Imbus (SR) 4:33.30 – 500 Free
INSIDE THE NUMBERS REFLECTED 39 TOP 50 ST. X SWIMS AND 84% BEST TIME.
The squad earning the trip to Canton to defend the State title:
Sean Brandabur (SR) Josh Knapke (JR)
Peter Breissinger (SR) Jean-Pierre Khouzam (FR)
Blake Brockman (SR) Charles Leibson (SR)
Andrew Devine (SO) Nicholas Perera (JR)
Sam Fallon (JR) Luke Sobolewski (SR)
Ansel Froass (FR) Luke Van Gorp (SR)
Dillon Froass (SR) Alex Wade (JR)
Justin Grender (JR) Jared Watson (SR)
Grant House (SR) Gordon Wheeler (SR)
Christian Imbus (SR)
“We were very please at how the athletes raced on Saturday. We want to keep the wave moving as we compete in Canton,” summarized head coach Tim Beerman. Coach Beerman was named District Coach of the Year by a vote of his colleagues for the second consecutive year.
JOSH KNAPKE PUNCHES FIRST AQUABOMBERS TICKET TO CANTON
Josh Knapke (JR), the GCL Champ threw down a personal best at the Southwest District Meet to earn 3rd place and a ticket to Canton for the State Championships. It will be Knapke’s first appearance at “the show” having had to sit out last season with shoulder surgery. But watching him compete you would never suspect he had a year off. Consistent and resolute throughout the evening he amassed 398.45 points. Teammate Jacob Rodriguez (SO) also scored in 14th place. Andrew Neyer (SO) got his first taste of District competition and finished 22nd.
Unfortunately, senior captain Jake Knapke was not able to dive due to illness. “There is no doubt that Jake Knapke inspired us all throughout the season and that included tonight. We are very fortunate to have such athletes in our program,” reflected diving coach Lori Rapp.
AquaBombers Capture 47th Consecutive Sectional Title – Move on to Districts
Since the inception of the Sectionals for Ohio Swimming, the St. Xavier squad has won the Cincinnati division of the four site competition. This year was no different with as the AquaBombers amassed 714.5 points to runner-up Walnut Hills’ 245. The field included thirteen teams. Hosted at Keating Natatorium, the team took advantage of home water advantage and won every event. As importantly, every performance (swimming and diving) qualified for Districts slated at Miami this week.
Led by multiple winners, Grant House (SR) – 4, Nick Perera (JR) – 4, Justin Grender (JR) – 4, Luke Sobolewski (SR) – 3, and Charles Leibson (SR) -2, the Aquabombers placed every swim in the top 6 and went 1 – 2 in seven of the eight events contested Friday night.
“Our objective was to race hard and advance to Districts, and that is precisely what we did,” summarized head coach, Tim Beerman.
ST. X DIVERS DELIVER
The OHSAA Division I Diving Sectional Championship was conducted at Miami University on Tuesday, February 7, and the AquaBombers’ divers rose to new heights. Josh Knapke (JR) took first followed by runner-up Jake Knapke (SR), Jacob Rodriguez (SO) in 4th and Andrew Neyer (SO) in 8th. By virtue of these performances all four move on to the OHSAA District Meet which will be held on Tuesday, February 14 at Miami University. The achievement has only been replicated once in the last 20+ years. Below are results of the four St. Xavier divers.
Josh Knapke 380.50 1st
Jake Knapke 338.55 2nd
Jacob Rodriguez 313.90 4th
Andrew Neyer 223.40 8th
All four were personal bests. “We continue to develop as a program and we are excited to have all four divers moving on to Districts,” said diving coach Lori Rapp.
GCL CROWN STAYS AT ST. XAVIER
A balanced and dynamic line up resulted in a tremendous GCL Championship performance by the AquaBombers. For the first time in at least 20 years, the squad won all twelve events. In six of the nine individual events the AquaBombers went 1 – 2 - 3 – 4. The final score reflected the quality of swims as St. X tallied 501 to runner-up Moeller’s 301.
Nick Czepukaitis was named Swimmer of the Meet as he picked up four wins (200 Free, 100 Free, 200 Free Relay and 400 Free Relay). However, he certainly was not alone in the spotlight as every swim scored top 8 with an 89% Best Times calculation. Winners were:
200 Medley Relay 1:37.09 [Jonathan Bernard (S0), Will Spaeth (SR), Patrick Hudak (SR), Oscar Van Nort (JR)]
200 Free 1:43.16 – Czepukaitis
200 IM 1:56.60 Bernard
50 Free 22.16 - John Paul Khouzam (SO)
100 Fly 53.64 – Nathan Buse (FR)
100 Free 47.91 – Czepukaitis
500 Free 4:39.51 – Will Osterman (JR)
200 Free Relay 1:28.06 [Czepukaitis, Khouzam, Spaeth, Van Nort]
100 Back 54.83 – Erich Guenther (JR)
100 Breast 58.77 – Scott Sobolewski (FR)
400 Free Relay 3:13.59 [Will Schwieterman (SR), Khouzam, Osterman, Czepukaitis]
1 Meter Diving 247.05 – Josh Knapke (JR)
Going inside the numbers reflects the high level of the efforts. Ten swims, involving ten different athletes, would have qualified for state a year ago and seven would have scored. Of the 24 athletes representing the Blue and White, 5 were Seniors, 8 Juniors, 7 Sophomores and 4 Freshmen. As reflected in the results, champions come from every class!
A very pleased head coach Tim Beerman reflected, “We showed quality, depth, balance and determination. It was a great way to start the Championship season.”
Divers Spring AquaBombers into GCL Lead
A year ago, Josh Knapke (JR) was watching his teammates from the deck as he recovered from shoulder surgery. This season he has emerged on the diving board and claimed first place in the GCL Championship Monday night at the University of Cincinnati. His score of 247.05 was a personal best in closely contested competition. Moeller’s Gavin Osterday was second with 237.75. However, Jake Knapke (SR), Jacob Rodriguez (SO), and Andrew Neyer (SO) placed 4th , 5th and 6th, respectively, to earn valuable points in the event. Rodriguez’s 196.30 was a personal best as well. St. Xavier swimmers go into action Wednesday, February 1 at Keating Natatorium in hopes of earning the school's 58th straight GCL crown.
AquaBombers Enjoy “Senior Moments”
Keating Natatorium was packed as the St. Xavier aquatic family and friends honored twenty seniors Thursday evening. And there was plenty of love, appreciation, and spirit to produce an extremely festive mood for the occasion. Seniors Sean Brandabur, Peter Breissinger, Blake Brockman, Dillon Froass, Drew Grisemer, Grant House, Patrick Hudak, Christian Imbus, Jimmy Kelley, Jake Knapke, Nate Lawley, Charles Leibson, Nick Merz, Will Schwieterman, Luke Sobolewski, Will Spaeth, Matthew Stroh, Luke Van Gorp, Jared Watson and Gordon Wheeler did their part to reciprocate.
Seniors from Moeller, St. Ursula and Ursuline were also honored with the ment of Moeller providing the competition for St. X. The AquaBombers swam to first in all eleven events, while delivering some impressive swims. The final tally was 210 to 76.
Gordon Wheeler factored in three wins. Grant House, Luke Sobolewski, Luke Van Gorp joined by juniors Nick Perera and Alex Wade picked up dual victories. Top finishers also featured Peter Bressinger, Dillon Froass, Justin Grender (JR), Christian Imbus, Charles Leibson, Sean Brandabur, Jared Watson and Sam Fallon (JR). But throughout the line-up, fast performances could be found as nearly two thirds were best times. Twelve top 50 times were achieved highlighted by a new school record in the 100 Breast authored by Grant House (55.56). The previous record was held by Andrew Brower (56.29). Sobolewski’s performances placed him in the Top 50 in all eleven events, a mark currently held by only himself and Grant House.
FURTHER ANALYSIS REVEALS:
200 MEDLEY RELAY 1:34.96 ALL-AMERICAN CONSIDERATION
[Breissinger, Froass, Wheeler, Wade]
200 IM 1:51.82 GRENDER ALL-AMERICAN CONSIDERATION
200 FREE RELAY 1:26.07 ALL-AMERICAN CONSIDERATION
[Wheeler, Van Gorp, Wade, Brandabur]
100 BREAST 55.56 HOUSE AUTOMATIC ALL-AMERICAN
400 FREE RELAY 3:08.59 ALL AMERICAN CONSIDERATION
[Van Gorp, Watson, Fallon, Wheeler]
The squad now has 20 athletes under 5:00 minutes in the 500 Free.
“It was an important night for our Seniors and their families. We took another step in a positive direction,” added head coach Tim Beerman.
The GCL Championship begins Monday with diving at UC, followed by the swimming portion at Keating Natatorium Wednesday, February 1.
The St. Xavier Swimming & Diving team took to the pool in the largest high school meet in the country over the weekend. Prelims were conducted at ten sites with finals hosted at Keating Natorium. Over 3000 student athletes participated in the format that included all high school events as well as college and additional JV races. A grueling 4 session schedule tested the swimmers ability, endurance and focus. For the AquaBombers it was a meet for the record books as they scored the most points ever (920) to out distance second place Seven Hills (276), third place Bellbrook (251) and fourth place Moeller (194). The field included over 50 teams and marked the 34th consecutive title for St. X.
In the 17 varsity events, the Long Blue Lane won 9, setting meet records in 8. A closer look reveals some tremendous historical efforts from the “home team”. Winners included:
- 400 MEDLEY RELAY 3:21.79 – MEET RECORD
[Justin Grender (JR), Dillon Froass (SR), Luke Sobolewski (SR), Nicholas Perera (JR)]
- 200 FREE 1:347.61 MEET RECORD – Grant House (SR)
- 50 FREE 20.57 MEET RECORD – Justin Grender (JR)
- 500 FREE 4:41.83 - Christian Imbus (SR)
- 200 BREAST 2:00.86 MEET RECORD – Grant House (SR)
- 200 FREE RELAY 1:22.42 MEET & SCHOOL RECORD
[Charles Leibson (SR), Sobolewski, House, Grender
- 1650 FREE 16:19.54 MEET RECORD – Grender
- 400 FREE RELAY 3:00.52 MEET, SCHOOL & STATE RECORD
[Leibson, Sobolewski, Grender, House]
- RUNNER UP FINISHES:
- 400 IM 3:59.76 – Perera
- 50 FREE 21.17 – Sobolewski
- 100 FLY 50.98 – Grender
- 100 BACK 50.75 – Sobolewski
- 500 FREE 4:41.93 – Sam Fallon (JR)
- 1650 FREE 15.37.99 – Imbus
- 200 IM 1:54.64 – Leibson
- 100 Free 45.42 – Grender
- 200 Fly 1:52.49 – Gordon Wheeler (SR)
- 200 BACK 1:48.38 – House
In all, the AquaBombers scored in 77 performances on the varsity side, represented by 32 different athletes. Included in the group were divers: Josh Knapke (JR), Jake Knapke (SR) and Jacob Rodriguez (SO).
But that’s not the whole story. The Classic provides the most comprehensive and fastest competition on the JV level in the country. Once again the men from St. Xavier were up to the challenge. Thirteen additional athletes scored in 24 swims in the 100 IM, 50 BREAST, 50 BACK and 50 FLY. Paced by double winner John Paul Khouzam (SO) and joined by triple scorers Scott Sobolewski (FR), Patrick Houdak (SR) and Aki Li (SO), the line-up claimed the JV title with 261.5 points. Once again the field was loaded with teams from approximately 30 schools from Southwestern Ohio.
“It was indeed a special two days. We were extremely pleased with the spirit and determination of our entire squad. From the pool, to the deck, to the stands, it was a positive display by our athletes, coaches, families and fans,” summarized head coach Tim Beerman.
Sycamore Dual Proves “We Are Family”
The St. Xavier Swimming & Diving program is a family figuratively and literally. With eleven sets of brothers on the squad, you can be sure to see familiar names in the heat sheets and results. That was certainly the case at Sycamore Saturday as the AquaBombers hooked up with the Aviators for a dual meet. Led by Luke Van Gorp (SR) with four wins and Ian Van Gorp (FR) with two, the St. X squad added another victory with a 126 to 44 final score. Ansel Froass (FR) was a triple winner as was Jared Watson (SR).
“Solid swims with a good effort were highlights on Saturday,” reported head coach Tim Beerman.
Members of each of the eleven multi-athlete family will be in action on Saturday and Sunday at the Southwest Ohio Classic. This event is the largest high school meet in the country with prelims contested at 10 sites and finals at Keating Natorium.
St. Xavier Wins North Bend Dual
The friendly rivalry is something special for the folks on two ends of North Bend Road. On Wednesday, January 4, the swimming version was featured. The AquaBombers were ready to race at home after three road contests. The results showed many very tightly contested events, however, the St. X athletes swam away with eight of the eleven firsts. The final score was 193 – 91.
Junior Oscar Van Nort went four for four (200 Medley Relay, 100 Fly, 200 Medley Relay and 400 Free Relay). He had plenty of help from winners Evan Schell (SO) 200 Free, Scott Sobolewski (FR) 200 IM, Luke Prather (JR) 500 Free, Kyle Seilkop (FR) 500 Free. Freshmen Lucas Ecker rung up two relay wins as did Sobolewski, with Prather adding a second first place on the 200 Free Relay. The Blue and White dominated the 200 IM and 500 Free events sweeping one through four. A closer look at the numbers revealed an impressive 73% best times coming off a rigorous Christmas training schedule.
A very pleased assistant coach Don DiGiacomo said, “While we have more work to do, tonight was special.” The squad is back in action Saturday with a dual meet at Sycamore.
Divers Lead Way to Larry Lyons Championship
Divers Josh Knapke (JR), Jake Knapke (SR), Jacob Rodriguez (SO) and Andrew Neyer (SO) placed 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th respectively to get the AquaBombers off to a lead they would not relinquish in claiming the 46th Annual Larry Lyons Invitational at Sycamore High School. St. X racked up 541 to out pace runner up Sycamore’s 349.
The team took first in eleven of twelve events and had 53% best times coming off two wees of intense training. Multiple winners included:
Sean Brandabur (SR) 200 Free, 400 Free Relay
Charles Leibson (SR) 200 Medley Relay, 100 Fly, 100 Back, 400 Free Relay
Sam Fallon (SR) 200 Medley Relay, 100 Free
Ian Van Gorp (FR) 200 Free Relay, 100 Breast
Nick Czepukaitis (SR) 200 Free Relay, 400 Free Relay
All twenty athletes scored in the top eight in each event. In addition to diving, St. X went one, two, three in the 200 IM and one through four in the 500 Free.
“It was a solid performance from a focused group of athletes,” commented assistant coach Jim Counts, who led the team for the 10th year at this traditional local showcase.
Turpin Hosts AquaBombers
Christmas break would not be the same without an annual trip to face Turpin at the M.E. Lyons Y. Utilizing the opportunity to expand their swimming resumes, the AquaBombers had a 61% best time performance. Particularly impressive were the 500 free entrants (3 swimming it for the first time) Brendan Eagan (JR), Jeff Tell (SR), Jackson Wilking (SO), and Marcus Bauer (JR). The event was not scored.
University School Comes to Visit
“We have so much respect for University School and the way they compete. They come to our place every year to race. This year was certainly no different,” said head coach Tim Beerman. The men of St. X were up to the challenge and some great match-ups resulted in the AquaBombers swimming to eleven first place finishes.
Seniors Grant House, Luke Sobolewski and Sean Brandabur led the way with 3 wins each. Sobolewski’s 500 Free victory was a TOP 50 performance. Freshmen Ansel Froass and Jean-Pierre Khouzam and Sophomore Jonathan Bernard also picked up important victories in the 200 IM, 100 Fly and 100 Breast respectively. Every member of the team scored as the final tally showed St. X 199 to 86 for University School.
WYOMING THE LONG & SHORT VERSIONS
Last week (December 27), the St. Xavier swimming team competed in the first ever Wyoming Invitational at Powell Crosley Y. The meet was contested using the 50 meter (OLYMPIC) pool configuration. The change in the pool had little effect as the Long Blue Lane once again was up to the challenge as they placed first with 961 points. Moeller was second with 701 in a field of six.
Leading the way were juniors Justin Grender and Nick Perera who captured four and three wins respectively. 34 of the 36 swims finished in the top eight. The AquaBombers were particularly impressive in the 200 Medley and 400 Free Relays where they went 1 – 2. Individual events of note were the 200 IM [Grender & Blake Brockman (SR)] going 1 – 2, the 100 Fly [Perera, Dillon Froass (SR), Gordon Wheeler (SR)] going 1 – 2 – 3, 100 Back [Wheeler, Perera, Luke Van Gorp (SR), Drew Morstadt (SO)] with a clean sweep 1 through 4, and the 100 Breast [Grender, Peter Breissinger (SR) with a 1 – 2 finish.
“Long course is a different animal and our guys did very well making the adjustment”, commented head coach Tim Beerman.
A week later (January 3), the team was back at PCY for a quad meet with Wyoming, Winton Woods and Finneytown. Using the conventional 25 yard set-up, the Blue and White felt right at home winning eight of the eleven events and notching another “W”. Senior Gordon Wheeler took his leadership role seriously garnering four firsts (200 Medley Relay, 100 Fly, 100 Back, 400 Free Relay). Also snagging wins were Erich Guenther (JR) 200 IM, R.J. Myers (FR) 500 Free and Kent Perry (SR) 100 Breast. The threesome posted season best swims in their victories. John Paul Khouzam (SO) and Will Osterman (JR) were dual winners on relays.
“It was another honest effort by our guys in a good tank. The folks at Wyoming and PCY are extremely hospitable”, summarized assistant coach Tom Keefe who led the St. X contingent at this event.
Records Fall as St. X Swims to NED REEB TITLE
Ohio State plays host to one of the season’s finest meets. This year’s version featured more than 36 schools. The AquaBombers took advantage of a great facility and talented competition to claim an impressive victory scoring 642 points, followed by second place finishers, Upper Arlington and St. Charles who each tallied 248. St. X won five of the eleven events, establishing new records in each.
200 MEDLEY RELAY – Peter Breissenger (SR) , Charles Leibson (SR), Luke Sobolewski (SR), Alex Wade (JR) - 1:34.23 (All American Consideration)
100 FREE - Grant House (SR) - 46.02
200 FREE RELAY - Nick Perera (JR), Luke Van Gorp (SR), Alex Wade (JR), Grant House (SR) - 1:25.44 (All American Consideration)
100 BACK – Justin Grender (JR) - 49.18 (Automatic All American)
400 FREE RELAY - Nick Perera (JR), Charles Leibson (SR), Justin Grender (JR), Grant House (SR) -3:02.59 (Automatic All American)
In addition, Grender and Perera earned Automatic All American status in the 200 Free (1:38.64) and 500 Free (4:29.60), respectively. Perera (200 Free – 1:39.75) and Sobolewski (200 IM – 1:51.72 & 100 Back – 49.85) also swam Consideration All American times.
A full summary reveals that 19 AquaBombers scored. Twenty one Top 50 times were posted as the squad threw down 75% best times.
Training and Christmas highlight this week’s activities. The team gets really busy the following week with 5 meets. “It was a great weekend with many outstanding efforts,” said head coach Tim Beerman.
Canton Christmas Invitational Filled With Holiday Cheer
Following exams, assistant coach Jim Brower boarded a bus with a focused group of AquaBombers headed for Brower’s home town of Canton. On Saturday, competing with dozens of teams from around Ohio at Canton’s C. T. Branin Natorium, the swimmers certainly finished the semester with a tremendous performance. The squad climbed on the blocks 43 times in prelims and returned 41 of the swims for finals – a 95% success rate.
The effort was led by junior Sam Fallon who reached the finals in four events, including an individual win in the 500 free, as well as anchoring the first place 400 Free Relay. Freshmen Ansel Froass, R.J. Myers, and Ian Van Gorp also had multiple “A” final races. This meet is not scored on a team basis, but the Aquabombers were impressive posting 78% best times as they battled the elements and quality competition.
Training continues all week with the next meet versus the alumni on December 26.
DIVERS FLY HIGH AT REEB AND MARIEMONT INVITE
The Diving team was in action both Friday at the Ned Reeb and Saturday at the Mariemont Invitational. Senior Jacob Knapke placed 15th in the select field at Ohio State in an eleven dive meet. Sophomore Jacob Rodriguez was also part of the competition.
Junior Josh Knapke and Freshman Ben Cutforth finished 2nd and 6th respectively at Mariemont. Both recorded lifetime bests in the six dive event. Knapke earned 218.05 points, while Cutforth tallied 153.15.
“These athletes have improved so much and are truly an integral part of the St. Xavier Swimming and Diving program,” reflected head diving coach Lori Rapp.
Louisville St. Xavier Meet
When the St. Xavier Swimming and Diving team hits the road, they do so in a big way. Every athlete was in action at four different sites over the weekend. The largest contingent headed to Louisville for the annual Brother Fabius Invitational hosted by Louisville St. X. 15 schools from Kentucky and Ohio participated. And while the meet was not scored, the AquaBombers more than held their own.
25 athletes representing Cincinnati St. Xavier placed in the top 8 of their respective events. The quality performance was led by Oscar Van Nort (JR), Scott Sobolewski (FR), Carter Dwyer (JR) and Lucas Ecker(FR) who all picked up four top 8 finishes. Van Nort won the 100 IM. Final calculations reveal 66% Best Times results.
“The guys raced hard as we continue to learn and improve, “summarized assistant coach Don DiGiacomo.
CINCINNATI ST. XAVIER CAPTURES BATTLE of the BORDERS
The AquaBombers and Louisville St. X have been going at it annually for decades. The Ohio and Kentucky state champions have provided some outstanding dual meet performances over the year. Saturday at Keating Natatorium certainly lived up to the billing. Cincinnati St. Xavier prevailed 166.5 to Louisville’s 119.5 on the varsity side, while the Cincinnati JV’s triumphed 182.5 to 102.5.
The Blue & White won seven of the eleven events and tied in an eighth. The JV squad went nine for eleven in victories. The quality of the meet was exceptional as the Long Blue Lane threw down some memorable swims.
- Grant House (SR), school record 200 IM (1:47.29) with 2 automatic and three consideration All-America swims.
- Both free relays achieved consideration All-America status
- Ten Top 50 performances (five top 20)
- Charles Leibson (SR) and House each garnered four first place finishes
- Sam Fallon (JR) recorded his first Top 50 time in the 500 free (4:40.34)
- 77% best time
“We had a great week where we combined tough training with a community service project, chapel visit and two very solid meets,” said coach Tim Beerman.
The AuqaBombers are all back in action Saturday with squads heading to Canton, Columbus, Louisville while the divers are on the boards in Cincinnati.
AQUABOMBERS STAY HOT
While the weather has turned decidedly colder, the action at Keating Natorium heated up as St. X faced Lakota East and Lakota West in a four meet format. The AquaBombers split into two squads with the final score St. X Blue 206, St. X White 136, Lakota East 82, and Lakota West 74.
St. Xavier picked up wins in 10 of 11 events. The team was led by seniors Will Spaeth and Jared Watson who each picked up an individual and 2 relay firsts. Other individual winners were Nick Czepukaitis (Jr), Nick Pfeifer (JR), Erich Guenther (JR), Andrew Devine (SO) and Sam Fallon (JR).
The Aquabombers will be back in action Saturday afternoon against Kentucky champs Louisville St. Xavier at Keating Natatorium for a 3:00 pm start.
MASON INVITATIONAL TROPHY HEADS TO ST. XAVIER
There is no doubt that the St. Xavier Football Team set the tone for the AquaBombers. Ten hours following the amazing win in Columbus, those representing the Blue & White in the pool delivered in dramatic fashion at the 13th Annual Mason Invitational, bringing home the title.
The field included over twenty teams, including state notables Akron Firestone and Mason. After a nearly fourteen hour day, the St. X squad won seven of eleven events (tying a school record) while earning 441 points. Entering the meet, the AquaBombers were projected to score 377 points. Akron Firestone (247) and Mason (229) rounded out the top three. A closer look inside the numbers shows the quality and depth of the thirteen athletes representing the Long Blue Line. Each qualified in at least one championship final (top 8) and every swim scored. Best times calculations were just shy of 90%.
The winners from St. Xavier were:
200 MEDLEY RELAY S. HOLCOMB (JR), S. SOBOLEWSKI (FR), C. EGLSEDER (SO), J. PAUL KHOUZAM (SO) 1:45.58
200 FREE B. ROBERTSON (JR) 1:52.07
100 IM D. STROH (JR) & S. SOBOLEWSKI (FR) TIE 58.93
50 FREE O. VAN NORT (JR) 22.74
500 FREE J. PAUL KHOUZAM (SO) 5:07.38
100 BREAST J. PAUL KHOUZAM (SO) 1:04.32
400 FREE RELAY ROBERTSON, HOLCOMB, EGLSEDER, VAN NORT 3:26.06
St. X is back in action hosting Lakota East and Lakota West on Wednesday evening followed by a home match-up with Louisville St. Xavier Saturday afternoon.
AQUABOMBERS CLAIM FIRST WIN
It was opening night at Keating Natatorium for St. Xavier as they faced Elder in the annual event. Elder, showing both quality and tremendous depth went toe to toe with the AquaBombers throughout the evening. Elder picked up five wins in the first nine events led by junior Austin Smith.
However, St. Xavier battled in every swim throwing down 93% best times. Ultimately, the AquaBombers pulled away in the final three events to capture a 158-127 win. “We knew the Panthers had some really good athletes and their depth was impressive”, commented Asst. Coach Don DiGiacomo. “The good news for us was that we were prepared and really raced well,“ DiGiacomo added.
The Blue and White was led by Junior Robert Prophrater who earned two individual victories, as well as leading off the top 400 Free relay, joined by Carter Dwyer (JR), Sean Hergenrother (JR) and Evan Schell (SO). All four went life time bests! To put the meet in perspective, seven of the eleven events had winning times faster than a year ago. “The sport keeps getting faster and we are pleased to be a part of the evolution,” concluded Coach Tim Beerman.
Swimming World Places AquaBombers in Final Four
After a record setting performance at the Ohio State Championships and the top ranking by the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA), the St. Xavier Swimming & Diving squad placed 4th in the United States by Swimming World Magazine. This is the highest finish since 2004 by St. X in the “SW” tally. The publication calculates team scoring by using the top 16 performances in each swimming event.
Led by a trio of top eight relays, the strongest performance by any school, the AquaBombers racked up 91 points.
200 MEDLEY RELAY – 2ND 1:30.40 (STATE AND ST. X RECORDS)
JUSTIN GRENDER (SO), CHARLES LEIBSON (JR), LUKE SOBOLEWSKI (JR), NICK PERERA (SO)
200 FREE RELAY – 7TH 1:22.62 (ST. X RECORD)
NICK PERERA (SO), MATT SLABE (SR), JUSTIN GRENDER (SO), GRANT HOUSE (JR)
400 FREE RELAY – 6TH 3:01.34 (STATE & ST. X RECORD)
MATT SLABE (SR), CHARLES LEIBSON (JR), JUSTIN GRENDER (SO), GRANT HOUSE (JR)
In addition to the relays, Grant House (JR) placed 13th in the 200 Free (1:36.93) and 14th in the 500 Free (4:24.61).
LaSalle College High School of Pennsylvania finished first with 119.5 points. Less than 1.75 seconds separated the top five teams when scored in this format. Brecksville Broadview Heights, the Ohio runner-up, placed sixth in this prestigious poll with 73 points.
AQUABOMBERS TOP NATIONAL RANKINGS
All of the high school swimming and diving has been concluded for the 2015-16 season and once again, the St. Xavier Swimming & Diving program finished at the Top of the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) U.S. Dual Meet Team Rankings. This achievement follows a record setting performance by St. X at the 2016 Ohio State Championship where the squad tallied the most points in state history (398) on their way to a 37th title (8th consecutive and 17 of last 18 years).
The NISCA numbers (6397) were also a school record and outpaced Southlake Carroll, TX (6262) and Loyola, CA (6136). It is the eighth time the AquaBombers have finished atop the NISCA rankings. In addition, it marks the 18th consecutive year that the program has been ranked in the top eight nationally.
“I am extremely proud for the swimmers, coaches and parents who made this happen”, head coach Tim Beerman commented. “It really does take a commitment from everyone.”
All American honors were also presented by NISCA. Eight St. X athletes were decorated for their achievements.
JUSTIN GRENDER (SO) 200 MEDLEY RELAY, 100 BACK, 200 FREE RELAY, 400 FREE RELAY
GRANT HOUSE (JR) 200 FREE, 200 IM, 500 FREE, 200 FREE RELAY, 400 FREE RELAY
CHRISTIAN IMBUS (JR) 500 FREE
CHARLES LEIBSON (JR) 200 MEDLEY RELAY, 200 IM, 400 FREE RELAY
NICK PERERA (SO) 200 MEDLEY RELAY, 200 IM, 200 FREE RELAY
MATT SLABE (SR) 200 FREE, 200 FREE RELAY, 400 FREE RELAY
LUKE SOBOLEWSKI (JR) 200 MEDLEY RELAY, 100 FLY, 100 BACK
LUKE VAN GORP (JR) 100 BREAST
In addition, fourteen seniors earned Academic All-American status: AUSTIN ANDWAN, MICHAEL BUESCHER, DREW FITGERALD, TREVOR GERSTNER, NATE JONAS, JACK OSTERMAN, NATE PLOGMANN, JONATHAN PRANGLEY, NICK ROTCHING, ADAM SCHUTTE, MATT SLABE, AARON TASKE, NATHAN WILSON AND MAX WIMMEL.
The St. Xavier Athletic Program is in good shape overall as the Bombers' teams put together another solid effort in 2015-2016 to reclaim the GCL South All Sports Trophy for the 5th consecutive season. St. Xavier finished the year with 68 total points which was seven points better than Elder's 61 points. LaSalle finished third with 57 points while Moeller finished fourth with 54 points. It was the largest margin of victory since 2010-2011 when Moeller won by seven points as well, the last year when St. Xavier did not win. The Bombers have claimed the trophy 9 out of the past 10 years.
The fall sports season saw two ties for first place between St. Xavier and Elder when both the Football teams and Soccer teams tied for the league championship with the Panthers. The Bombers completed the sweep of the fall sports when Cross Country and Golf both won their respective league titles.
St. Xavier captured the Swimming league title once again to kick off the winter sports season while Bowling finished in third place for the Bombers. Basketball and Wrestling stayed competivtive but ended up in fourth place to round out the winter season.
With St. Xavier leading Elder by only three points heading to the spring sports season, the Bombers had to put together a collectively great season. That they did as Tennis won their 49th straight league title while Volleyball shared the league title with Moeller and Elder. Baseball beat the Panthers 2 out of 3 in their season series to claim third place over Elder. The Track team wrapped up the season with a third place finish at the GCL Championship Meet.
The trophy will remain at St. Xavier HS for another year and the Bombers' teams will look to win it once again in 2016-2017 school year.
The Cincinnati Enquirer announced the Winter High School All Stars for the 2016-2017 winter season. See below for the St. Xavier All Stars for each team.
Swimming - Grant House, Jr - Swimmer of the Year
Tim Beerman - Coach of the Year
Grant House - First Team
Luke Sobolewski, Jr - First Team
Matt Slabe, Sr - First Team
Justin Grender, So - First Team
Charles Leibson, Jr - Second Team
Nicholas Perera, So - Second Team
Christian Imbus, Jr - Honorable Mention
Patrick Butkovich, Jr - Honorable Mention
Dillon Froass, Jr - Honorable Mention
Aaron Taske, Sr - Honorable Mention
Gordon Wheeler, Jr - Honorable Mention
Alex Wade, So - Honorable Mention
Basketball - Johnny Bubenhofer, Sr - Honorable Mention
Bowling - John Faisant, Sr - Honorable Mention
Chase Neville, Sr - Honorable Mention
Ice Hockey - Frank Auberger, Sr - First Team
Nick Carmichael, Sr - First Team
Ben Harding, Sr - First Team
Jacob Barnes, Sr - Second Team
Roope Ketola, Jr - Second Team
Joseph Luffy, Sr - Second Team
Alec Braun - Jr - Honorable Mention
Wrestling - Connor Yauss, Jr - Honorable Mention
Mike Gerbus, Sr - Honorable Mention
St. Xavier High School has named Tim Beerman as the head coach for the Swimming and Diving program. Beerman served as the interim head coach this past season leading the AquaBombers to a State Meet record 398 points and claiming the program's 37th State Title. He has 21 years of coaching experience at the high school level including 10 years as the head coach at Ursuline Academy where he led the Lions' program to 4 State Championships.
“It is an honor to continue the work of upholding the tradition which is St. Xavier Swimming & Diving,” said Beerman. “Each day brings the opportunity to stand side by side with some of the best coaches in the sport – all in the effort of assisting dedicated student-athletes as they uncover their potential.”
Beerman is a 1986 graduate of Moeller High School and has a BA in Theology from the University of Notre Dame. He serves as the Assistant Director of Campus Ministry at St. Xavier High School.
The Ohio Swimming & Diving Championship in Canton has long been one of the premier aquatic events in the nation. The crowd, the competition, and the tradition produce an electric atmosphere unlike other swimming events. Once again, the St Xavier Swimming & Diving team climbed its way to the top of the standings for the 37th time - 8th consecutive and 17 out of the last 18 years.
However, this year's success was marked by several remarkable achievements. Projected to score 360 points, the AquaBombers racked up a record 398, outdistancing a talented Brecksville-Broadview Heights squad who garnered 179 points to earn runner-up. St. Charles finished third, Centerville fourth and Moeller sixth.
St. X captured five wins, established 2 new State records, four new school records and positioned themselves for a run at the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) and Swimming World titles that will be determined following all high school competition in June. AquaBomber winners:
200 Medley Relay (Justin Grender So, Charles Leibson Jr, Luke Sobolewski Jr, Nicholas Perera So) - 1:30.40 New State & school record
200 Free - Grant House Jr, 1:36.93
100 Fly - Sobolewski 48.57
500 Free - House 4:24.61
400 Free Relay (Matt Slabe Sr, Leibson, Grender, House) - 3:01.34 New State and school record.
In addition, Perera established a new school record in the 200 IM (1:49.59), while the 200 Free Relay (Perera, Slabe, Gender, House) did the same in 1:22.62. When the waters had settled and the cheering subsided a closer look at the results from the Long Blue Lane reflect 13 automatic and 12 consideration performances for All-American status. Perera (200IM), Sobolewski (100 Fly & 100 Back), House (500 Free) and junior Christian Imbus (500 Free) placed themselves on the Ohio ALL TIME TOP 20 list.
In what was obviously a tremendous showing, St. X was joined on the podium by three additional winners from the Southwest District. Every AquaBomber at Canton posted a Top 50 St. X swim on a list that gets more challenging to make each year. Congratulations to athletes, coaches, family, alums, competitors, friends and fans for making the 2015-16 season a very special one, in and out of the pool!
The St. Xavier Swimming & Diving team once again captured the Southwest Ohio District Championship (48th consecutive) with a convincing performance culminating in the most points scored since at least 1999. The 550 tally was followed by Moeller’s 238.5, Centerville’s 206, Mason’s 143 and Walnut Hills’ 124, rounding out the top 5.
The Southwest District is the most dominant in the State and arguably the country. 45% of all individual swims at Canton next week will come from the Southwest District. To further evaluate the quality of the meet, 39 swims were either All American “automatics” or “consideration” performances. The AquaBombers recorded 20 of them. It was a fast meet, in a fast pool with incredible competition.
A closer look at the AquaBombers, reveals six first place finishes and three new meet records(#).
200 Medley Relay (Justin Grender SO, Dillon Froass JR, Luke Sobolewski JR, Nick Perera SO) 1:32.20#
100 Fly Soboleskwi 48.78
500 Free Grant House JR 4:28.21
200 Free Relay (Matt Slabe SR, Charles Leibson JR, Perera, House) 1:24.75
100 Back Sobolewski 48.92#
400 Free Relay (House, Leibson, Slabe, Grender) 3:04.62#
Quality depth has become the trademark of St. X aquatics. That was certainly the case as the team scored in 37 of 39 opportunities sending 32 onto Canton, represented by the following athletes:
Sean Brandabur (JR) Charles Leibson (JR)
Peter Breissinger (JR) Nicholas Perera (SO)
Blake Brockman (JR) Jonathan Prangley (SR)
Patrick Butkovich (JR) Matt Slabe (SR)
Drew Fitzgerald (SR) Luke Sobolewski (JR)
Dillon Froass (JR) Aaron Taske (SR)
Justin Grender (SO) Luke Van Gorp (JR)
Grant House (JR) Alex Wade (SO)
Christian Imbus (JR) Gordon Wheeler (JR)
The AquaBombers will open up at the State Meet with Preliminaries on Friday, February 26th at 9:00 am. The finals will be on Saturday, February 27th starting at 4:00 pm where the team will look for its 8th consecutive State Title and 37th overall.
The Fred Cooper District Invitational has developed into one of the largest meets on the Southwestern Ohio schedule. Valentine’s Day was a great day for St. X and Sycamore to co-host the event at Keating Natatorium which featured 16 schools and 200+ athletes. And while the weather was less than ideal outside, the climate was terrific for the AquaBombers inside.
44 members of the AquaBombers represented St. X and took full advantage of the chance to compete for the last time this season. Jaw dropping performances were the rule rather than the exception as the team posted over 90% lifetime best swims. Putting the level of competition into perspective, 40 individual St. Xavier swims would have scored at sectionals and 29 swims would have qualified for Districts. St. Xavier won ten of the eleven events. AquaBombers' Junior Patrick Hudak was named Swimmer of the Meet.
200 Medley Relay (NICK ROTSCHING, SR; DANIEL STROH, SO; PATRICK HUDAK, JR; CAM WILSON, SO) 1:42.94
200 FREE SCOTT HOLCOMB, SO 1:48.08
200 IM PATRICK HUDAK, JR 2:03.65
100 BUTTERFLY PATRICK HUDAK, JR 54.91
100 FREE JACK OSTERMAN, SR 50.25
500 FREE WILL OSTERMAN, SO 4:56.11
200 FREE RELAY (TREVOR GERSTNER, SR; ROBERT PROPHATER, SO; JEFF TELL, JR; LUKE PRATHER, SO) 1:35.73
100 BACKSTROKE DREW MORSTADT, FR 56.86
100 BREASTSTROKE CAM WILSON, SO 1:03.03
400 FREE RELAY (PROPHATER, D. STROH, HUDAK, MORSTADT) 3:23.42